Coronavirus: Amazon extends global relief fund to delivery partners in India
Ecommerce major Amazonon Friday said it would extend its global $25 million relief fund to associates part of its delivery programmes in India to provide support amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon has extended the Amazon Relief Fund to associates part of its Delivery Service Partner Programme, Amazon Flex programme, and trucking partners providing middle-mile logistics support, a statement said.
"This fund can be utilised by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19. While Amazon hopes none of the associates who are working hard to deliver essentials to customers are affected by hardship, the fund is there to support them financially with the help of a grant," it added.
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
This, the company said, protects thousands of associates not employed by Amazon but who play an integral role in the logistics network, helping customers stay home in this challenging time.
The Amazon Relief Fund was announced in March with an initial contribution of $25 million to support employees, qualified independent contractors, and employees of qualified vendors, who face financial hardships from qualifying events. These events could be natural disasters, government declared emergencies, or unforeseen personal hardship.
"In these unprecedented times, the health and safety of all our partners and associates in India continues to be our top priority as we face the challenges associated with COVID-19," Amazon Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Emerging Markets (Customer Fulfilment Operations), Akhil Saxena said.
He added that the Amazon Relief Fund is one such step to extend financial support to thousands of associates part of the Delivery Service Partner Programme, Amazon Flex partners and trucking partners providing middle-mile logistics, in the event any of them are quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.
All associates working in Amazon buildings directly or through staffing agencies are already covered for medical insurance under the ESIC (Employee State Insurance Programme).
In case, they test positive for COVID-19 or are placed under quarantine based on direction from the government or by Amazon, they will receive two weeks of pay over and above their available leave balance.
With the Indian government imposing a 21-day lockdown, ecommerce companies have been allowed to make deliveries of only essential items like food and medicines. Ecommerce firms have also ramped up efforts to ensure that the entire logistics till delivery to customers is sanitised to ensure safety of their staff and customers.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)